In "Kit Nelson," Dr. Diego Soto is talking with Dylan, a boy who recently escaped and was then rescued from a serial child killer. The boy confesses he is still scared, and Soto shares his own experience with the boy:
Soto: When I was a kid, about your age, something happened… where someone … took me ... just like that guy who took you, right. And it wasn’t easy, but…
He trails off.
Soto: I got away too. And once that happens—once you know that … you can do that—it sorta gives you a superpower—
He looks at Dylan's comic books.
Soto: --like theirs, but … real.
Dylan looks at the comic books and smiles a little.
Dylan: I didn’t give up, like you said.
Soto: I know you didn’t.
It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.Can such an immortal creature as Kit Nelson be redeemed? Is he even capable of making decisions in that direction? Or is there a point in which we make so many wrong choices we are irredeemable—at least on this side of death? And, more personally, what makes us choose a path towards light and redemption in the face of suffering and horror while another chooses a path towards darkness? Perhaps the rest of Lewis’ quote gives us a good place to start:
All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment.